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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Pow Wow Singing > Southern Singing What gives!?!?!?!?!?! What gives!?!?!?!?!?!

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Old 07-23-2008, 10:02 AM   #1
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What gives!?!?!?!?!?!

I've been traveling a bit as of late and I'm always seeing new/young singers around the arbor...both northern and southern drums. For those around the southern drums, I'm not so sure they've ever spent any time around the Center Drum. My guess is that many of them have not, but have picked up some teachings around different groups that were once picked up at the Center Drum and passed along.

So, whether they're hanging around the Center Drum or traveling with a group, what advice would you give to the new/younger singers today?

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Old 07-23-2008, 09:22 PM   #2
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I'm not from the southern drum area ( Oklahoma ), but some of the young dudes I've seen, had pants hangin' halfway off their butts. From what I've been told, they ought not be doin' that.
I wasn't the only person who noticed.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:42 PM   #3
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One man to another

As someone who started off sitting at the drum with some very old guys, there are some things that they either told me, or never had to, and some things I have observed myself
1. Dress appropriately- I don't care whether its a white t-shirt, your best western wear, a ribbon shirt, or whatever, it should be clean. Same goes for your pants. Along with that, keep yourself covered decently, as in when you get up ask "Would gramma be upset with me for wearing this?"
2. Watch your language. The mics pick up more than you think and when the drum next to you is singing, your joke about the blond lady may be heard by everyone there.
3. Keep your area clean. Nuff said.
4. Be aware of your space, this is especially true for those that dance and sing- If you have on a bustle beware when you sit down- if the guy behind you has to dive for the floor to avoid breaking your bustle you may wanna readjust your seats or see if you can spread out a little bit.
5. Be appreciative and thankful for every chance you have to sing.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:39 AM   #4
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Just to SHUT UP and LISTEN. Often times these other young kats know it all...Learning is a lifelong process. Get used to it. Never to be too good that you can't learn. If you go to a dance, and you don't learn something, you aren't paying close enough attention. Especially at a young age, your brain is in its prime, so take the opportunity to utilize it..and quit being so effing cocky. Nobody is anybody, I don't care what you've done, where you've been, how good you can sing. It's all about RESPECT. LEARN that too, and learn the reasons behind songs and the stories and translations. I know it's hard when no one wants to take the time to explain but you have to show the effort to want to know. bust your A** to get the history of things, so that you know whats going on and why. Yet understand nobody knows it all. Just a few things from my point of view.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:07 AM   #5
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In the 'olden days' when things were more tribal specific and before drums were at the periphery of the circle, the center drum carried the powwow. The young singers of today should think about that. Do they know enough that IF they were the only drum, would they know all the songs needed for the various dances...and without taking a break? One song after another?

Last edited by Gledanh Zhinga; 07-27-2008 at 10:12 AM.. Reason: punctuation
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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I've seen a lot of new drums coming out of the walls too. Some were made from old members of several that get together and drum and some are new kids on the block that have no clue of how things should be done.

One of the kids from a new drum got very demanding thinking he was hot stuff and kept hitting my mic with his stick. After several warnings to stop, I walked to the drum, took the stick out of his hand and hit him in the head with it. He wasn't very happy. I also told him the next time he hit my mic with his stick, I was going to take the mic away. He hit the mic again as I left the drum with a colorrful comment to me. I turned around, said nothing and took the mic away. Then I told him to sing louder to compensate for the lack of amplification.

It's all about respect for the property of others. Good sound systems don't come cheap!

Sometimes I think young drums should apprentice an older established drum to learn the ways and respect for what we do. There is no call for disrespect around the drum arbor or circle. Leave the disrespect at home!
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:38 PM   #7
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Dang TKMJ... not even sure I wanna know who that drum was, seems like a lot of drums in our area spring up, sing for part of a season then disappear, then some you wonder, where did they learn this stuff?

You know us, we don't tolerate that stuff, I've had to pull a few aside over the years and say, hey this is the way we do things, if you can't respect it, then maybe find someplace you can fit in better... either they straighten up or leave.

I know the problem around here are that there aren't many long lasting drums around here any more, a lot of the drums you see now picked it up on their own without being taught by anyone in particular, and it shows.

Pretty sad when I've rapidly become one of the "old guys"... LOL. We still have a few older northern guys like Parnel and Ray out here, and some younger guys like Larry that are keeping things in line, but when Sterling passed it really left a hole on the southern side. I'm just glad I had the chance to learn from him... and still have that family to call on when I have questions, but more and more it seems "traditions" spring up overnight around here. And it leaves us "old guys" shaking our heads...

Looking forward to seeing you next weekend TKMJ!

Paselo~
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:44 PM   #8
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Here's a good piece of advice, know your songs inside and out, if your guessing, don't sing the song, you are likely to offend someone... just because you're singing what you thought you heard... if you're guessing, you may be getting it wrong... and when it comes to personal or family songs, etc. you can find yourself in hot water real quick when you screw them up.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedShield View Post
Dang TKMJ... not even sure I wanna know who that drum was, seems like a lot of drums in our area spring up, sing for part of a season then disappear, then some you wonder, where did they learn this stuff?

You know us, we don't tolerate that stuff, I've had to pull a few aside over the years and say, hey this is the way we do things, if you can't respect it, then maybe find someplace you can fit in better... either they straighten up or leave.

I know the problem around here are that there aren't many long lasting drums around here any more, a lot of the drums you see now picked it up on their own without being taught by anyone in particular, and it shows.

Pretty sad when I've rapidly become one of the "old guys"... LOL. We still have a few older northern guys like Parnel and Ray out here, and some younger guys like Larry that are keeping things in line, but when Sterling passed it really left a hole on the southern side. I'm just glad I had the chance to learn from him... and still have that family to call on when I have questions, but more and more it seems "traditions" spring up overnight around here. And it leaves us "old guys" shaking our heads...

Looking forward to seeing you next weekend TKMJ!

Paselo~
The head banging didn't happen in Ohio, I was teaching Tim some new sound gear near Springfield, Oregon when this happened.

Yep, we get a lot of new drums in Ohio too but they just don't seem to last long. A powwow or two and there gone. It takes time and dedacation to become a drum with a good standing in the community. Every area is going to get "fly by night" new drums. Kids trying to strike off on their own. Most will only run the circuit for a few weeks a season. They don't realisize what it actually takes to do powwow after powwow, week after week, all season long. You and I both know what it actually takes because we're out on the circuit almost every weekend. We were seasoned a long time ago and have seen a lot of crap on the circuits. We have both done powwow from the west to east coast and back again.

Yep Red, we're the old guys now and we both feel it in our bones. But without us on the circuit, how do the young ones learn the dedication it takes to do what we do?

Just remember one thing. Stearling taught us both a lot of stuff before his passing. Even at his age when it came to the drum, there was always a warm fire in his eyes and a good song in his heart. He left us that fire and song to keep things alive. He gave us that gift and you and I will always honor it until it's our time to pass.

It's just what we do!
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Last edited by TKMJ Productions; 08-03-2008 at 09:05 AM.. Reason: because I keep finding spelling errors. Lakota is so much easier then english!
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:44 PM   #10
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Adding on

here are a few more things I thought about recently-
1. Humility, practice it or it will be forced on you when no committee will let you set up.
2. Know what songs are appropriate where.
3. If the committee was nice enough to pay for a hotel room don't use it for your '49.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
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3. If the committee was nice enough to pay for a hotel room don't use it for your '49.
Well......... yes and no! There was one powwow where a comittee put Red Shield, my self and a few other drums at a really fancy hotel where we had a little party. We now call it the "Channel 2 no tell motel". It was not what we would call a family orentied place to stay so we had our own party. We were all dead tired from powwow and decided to watch the ladies go from room to room while having about 20 large pizzas and a few too many leters of pepsi and other soft drinks. Bets were taken on time the ladies spent in rooms and things got really funny with the jokes and such. In total there were around 35 of us from the powwow at that hell hole! Some of us even had rooms with mirrors on the ceiling!!!!!!

BTW: Channel 2 was a free movie channel and not HBO! LOL!!! And we cleaned up our mess!

Hey Red! Is goofy golf on for this weekend?
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:43 PM   #12
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Quit give it up stop now! You are ruining what was passed on from our REAL ELDERS, with your f*cked up attitude that comes out in your hokie-*ss songs, and your not being able to keep rythm on your honor beats (and I know, you know who you are), and your weak-*ss voices (lettin' your women singing behind you finish your songs-and you know who YOU are). Shut up and listen, I think someone mentioned that before, just shut up and listen. Learn, here's a novel idea, how about, knowing how to make noise with your VOICE and not your greasy palm. Yes, this is as rude as it gets, but a lot of you are not paying attention, a lot of you are ruining a good GOD GIVEN thing, and you don't care, so, I don't care if you think this is too harsh. Shut up and listen and learn. You should hear yourselves sounding all pitiful, you're killing the spirit of what we as Indian people are trying to accomplish. When we sing, dance, pray, or whatever we are doing when it's happening is, we are asking God to come be with us for just a short period of time, to lift us up above the realm of this life and give us audience with Him in just a little, small, "touch" of heaven. He gave us the ability to do that with our songs and dancing and praying, but we can't even do that because of all the clowns we have at the drums. Not that it all has to be all solemn and down and no fun, but a lot of our people have gotten all "eat up" with themselves to think about others, and that shows when they sing and dance. Advice, HA HA HA, no one listens to advice anymore.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:32 PM   #13
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:47 PM   #14
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First of all...No offense. Sometimes, it might be better to say nothing at all. Especially when you speak of the deceased. That's really pushin' it, considering who you are, and who you aren't. With that said, the way you represent yourself, can be misconstrued. Sometimes it better to be nobody then to be somebody. When you're a nobody, you don't look to be somebody, because it's better to be nobody. In a sense, to define a "somebody" in today's world, is to have some ones attention and/or admiration. But in reality, someones attention is nothing compared to having someone's respect which has to be earned, before it can be expected. But with an instance can be withdrawn, because someone could view you as TRYING to be somebody...which is a ridiculous appearence. A person's respect, can last as long as you can keep it, while their attention or admiration, lasts until the bigger and better star arrives, which they will, its evolution. One last thing..I want to share something someone told me a lonng time ago..for you "Old Men". It's hard being ndn. But it's a life long responsibility. Just because you reach that age, where you look different, your body hurts, and you're feeling the aging effect you, don't mean your threw payin' your dues. You have that responsibility till the end. Don't think your paid off, because you will NEVER be until your bout 6 feet under. And I say payin' your dues, I do mean sacrificing things, so that everything is done right as well as the other things involved, you know what I mean. But more importantly, to learn until your last day. Don't be TOO full of yourself to close your mind to whats right, because there is always a lesson from everything that happens..for a reason. So you tell me..Old man, would you rather have their respect or their attention..as FANS..and who are you trying to be? Someone? or No one?
-Just a young guy, sharing something that might help...maybe its something, probably nothin'....take it or leave it...


this isnt directed toward styme btw
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #15
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This is what blows my hat in the creek: a young drum that screws the "honor beats" especially when leading and seconding in the middle on the OFF BEAT. This makes the dancers shuffle or pause to get on beat again.

At one powwow, a drum repeatedly altered the stressed and unstressed beat during a contest! After the songs, a lady elder approached the drum and chewed them out for what they did. The singers looked at her with vacant stares. They didn't know what she was talking about!

Another thing that blows my hair back. Singing at the wrong tempo, and during contests! This is probably most frequent during grass dance. The tempo should be moderate, yet lots of young singers make it way too fast, like fancy dance beat.

Too many young singers have never danced, and they should.

Last edited by Gledanh Zhinga; 11-11-2012 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:41 PM   #16
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one that irks me the most: a visiting drum that decides to "sing" more than 4 pushups during an intertribal even though they are told to only do 4. i guess this is their way of getting back at the way the powwow is going with some drums sitting all afternoon without singing while the host drums are utilized for whatever comes up. it would be one thing if the drum group is rendering an upbeat tune, but another thing if they are just getting started and the beat is off.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gledanh Zhinga View Post
Too many young singers have never danced, and they should.
You know... I have been saying this for years!!!

You can tell the drums that have dancers sitting there versus the ones that have no dancers sitting there. The ones that don't dance tend to be wrong speed (most times WAY too fast) and don't pay attention to things a dancer would never ignore (like a rushed salute between the verse and verse again.)

I was lucky that most of the guys I sang with had been dancers before they started singing, but with the new group I'm singing with now, the ones that have never danced before are sticking out like a sore thumb.
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